The momentum for military intervention in Syria by the United States grew markedly today as House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor backed President Obama’s authorization to strike. Later in the day, Secretary of State John Kerry was emphatic and cogent in his testimony before the Senate Foreign Realtions Committee. When non-interventionist Kentucky Senator Rand Paul pressed Kerry on unintended consequences of a military strike, the secretary reversed roles and questioned Paul. Kerry asked Paul, if the United States did nothing, would this not guarantee impunity for Assad. The junior senator had no answer.
With today’s testimony and the strong backing yesterday of the president’s actions by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Senate will overwhelmingly authorize a military strike in Syria. But what may not be so apparent is that the same will likely take place in the House. And don’t be too surpised if Russia’s President Vladimir Putin finds some way, in time, to condemn Syria’s use of chemical weapons. If so, could China be so far away from taking a similar stance? Many hypotheticals, but if they materialize, Obama’s decision to go to Congress will be viewed as one of the more astute of his presidency.